Almanac Classics: And a marathon came calling…

When David Downer’s life hit a few speed bumps, he started running. Those 20 minute runs eventually increased, leading to life as a marathon runner. This is a fantastic tale of a man with a healthy addiction. The full story of the journey of the marathon runner. Originally published in August, David’s epic is both incredible and inspirational, a story even more poignant today. [This the first in a series of ‘Paddy Suggests’. Paddy Grindlay is making his way through the Almanac archives and picking out some of his favourite pieces. Look out for some classics Thanks Paddy, Ed]

AFL Round 2 – St Kilda v GWS: Circle of Saints

Evie Downer may be the charm all Saints have been waiting for, writes Uncle Dave. [Contains no traces of affection for expansion clubs – Ed]

AFL Round 8 Adelaide v St.Kilda: Crow me a river

St.Kilda have made their last trip to Football Park. Praise be, says David Downer. Praise be.

AFL Round 4 – St.Kilda v Essendon: Mare-thee-well

David Downer has his final dalliance with the “other woman” at Caulfield, before watching Essendon continue their own Black Caviar style dominance over the Saints.

Royal Ascot Tour Diaries – Day 5 – Fifty Shades of Salmon and Black

It’s a description not generally afforded to my own derrière. “Magnificent black rump”. But Black Caviar and I do share other common ground. Caulfield is our home track. We reside on the Frankston line. Mordialloc beach hosts our water-based activities – where admittedly Nelly has me covered in mid-Winter (as does Tom Hafey, incidentally). Today, [Read more]

Royal Ascot Tour Diaries – Day 1 – Frank, Joe and the Guv

  London. 4am. The sun already streams. Australian trainers would love fart-of-sparrow track-work in such early brilliant light. My own body clock is either still rooted, or the excitement of Royal Ascot opening day, and particularly Frankel, has me doing form and absorbing video previews and tips at this ungodly hour. It’s like Christmas morning [Read more]

Morning Suit Glory – The Royal Ascot preview

As compiled between the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, and posted on a sunny early Sunday morn from Gloucester Road, Kensington, SW7 ——————————————————————————————————— It was my Pulp Fiction moment, of sorts. Though it must be said, I was not riding shotgun in J.Travolta’s Chevrolet at the time – perhaps thankfully so, as recent “revelations” would [Read more]

Sweet Saintly unshackling

Me ole’ mate Randy, a blue-bagger, is carving out solid “livin’ the dream” sectionals in Los Angeles. Mixing with “entertainment types”. Promoting cheeseburgers to their own food group. Happy snaps with Earvin Magic Johnson. Trips to Vegas. Waffles for breakfast. A pornstar resides in his apartment block. Heady days indeed. The good wife and I [Read more]

The Return of The Ross

  The Return of The Ross David Downer   Weird shit happens at St Kilda v Fremantle games.   Two encounters have even been tagged with monikers more suited to lunchtime tele-movies, or perhaps Kevin Costner latter career stinkers.   The low budget 2006 Tasmanian thriller, Sirengate. And its prelude, the previous year’s cross-Nullabor production, [Read more]

I take thee, Sainter

Round One Bye David Downer   The council paddock behind our Glen Waverley childhood home staged some fierce after-school battles. Kick to kick. Then fight. Then squeal to Mum. Generally in that order. I was Tony Lockett. My brother Chris, he was Tony Lockett too. In reality, Chris’ kicking gait was more circa-1980s Stewie Loewe. [Read more]

2nd Test Sri Lanka v Australia Day 4

For those not au fait with cricket’s more obscure global locations, the neutral observer might better associate the “City of Kandy” with say, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, or one of Heath Ledger’s more low-budget arthouse productions. As nightclub names go, it wouldn’t look out of place on King Street either. Kandy is located [Read more]

Cadel est de deux ans de retard! (Cadel is two years late!)

  by David Downer   The honeymoon was over. Literally. Well, almost. Just a single day remained on our post-wedding European jaunt. A stunningly blue Summer’s day on the Champs-Elysees would provide the final chapter. Yeah, there were worse places to be.

Saints deja-boo 1999

Sunday morning. Grey. It’s summer in London. A hostel-quality fry-up at the Hampstead Heath YHA sits comfortably in my belly. It’s about to hit checkout time, and the hallways are thick with typical backpacker buzz. The forwarding destinations will be varied. Some are Paris-bound on the Eurostar, some the ferry to Calais, others are off [Read more]

Parisian Melancholy

Round 2 StK v Rich By David Downer A soul-funk singer of Gen-Y disposition yet old world charm, the eclectic Paris Wells featured as this week’s AFL pre-match gift to the “loyal fans”.  A melodic reward for those of us venturing in on a Friday night, resisting the lure of Better Homes and Gardens and [Read more]

St Kilda: Out of their comfort zone

I think us Saints fans are now decidedly out of our comfort zone.  For so long we carried the mantle as “everyone’s second favourite team” or “the loveable loser” – but in recent years, despite still not having won anything, it seems we are now public enemy one – very unfamiliar territory for a Saint [Read more]

Brand Bland – Why is the Australian cricket team unpopular?

Was it just me, or were you increasingly aggrieved by those merciless TV ads as the summer of Ashes discontent dragged on? You know the one’s – Vodafone, VB, the bloody Colonel. Over after over. Session after session. Day after day. While a guest spot on The Gruen Transfer is perhaps beyond my capabilities, my [Read more]

Memories of “Urnest” battles

The Vietnamese-Cambodian border, transient nightclubs in St Kilda, and the turquoise blue waters of the Amalfi Coast in Italy. Among the reams of Ashes literature penned over the decades, I doubt whether these three destinations have been mentioned. But for me, they form part of my Ashes memories. Part of my urn worship if you [Read more]

The Saintly Insanity of Grand Final Week

Mike Brady anthems are a permanent fixture in Grand Final week. Or at least, they still should be. One of his lesser known jingles – not SPC Baked Beans and Spaghetti, is There’s A Little Bit of Cazaly In Us All.  A song you’d only now find in obscure You Tube clips, or even more [Read more]

Cousins no Strangers to a Goal

In simpler times, when humble TV sitcoms ruled the entertainment roost, the Chicago-based Perfect Strangers was a meat-and-three-veg staple in many a family lounge-room. It shared the tale of two long-lost cousins. The neurotic yank Cousin Larry; and the goat-herding Greek shepherd, Cousin Balki. As you’ll recall, a rather mincingly flamboyant Bronson Pinchot starred as [Read more]

Bomber form irrelevant as Saints succumb again

by David Downer As pre-match curtain raisers go, you could do worse than spending a lazy seven hours at the All Nations Hotel in Richmond. Amongst the now familiar joie-de-vivre of the “afternoon session”, the impending federal election ensured any non-footy banter turned political in nature – the turn a touch more left than right [Read more]